Officials disagree on what tax district money should be spent on

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Franklin needs to reconstruct roads, build sidewalks and be prepared for a new factory to start up, not buy laptops for every high school student, the majority of city council members said.

A majority of city council members disagree with a decision made by a city board that oversees the spending of millions in tax dollars every year. Last week, the Franklin Redevelopment Commission approved spending $500,400 to buy a laptop for every Franklin Community High School student. That money will come out of the city’s tax-increment financing, or TIF, districts, which set aside some property taxes collected from businesses for economic development.

That money should be used to build new roads and sidewalks, improve drainage or help businesses expand, council member Joe Abban said. Purchasing a laptop that will be used for three or four years is the same as buying textbooks, which schools should be able to pay for themselves, he said.

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